The DNB Telepathy Project

It has been a difficult job attempting to evaluate and integrate the responses sent in about this project. One of the primary obstacles has been to determine what to consider as the telepathic "stimulus". In many ways, the obvious choice would be the original black and white photograph that I focused on the night of November 17. However, I did have some dreams that night and an argument could be made that the pictorial images arising from my unconscious would provide a more potent source of energy transmission than would the conscious awareness of the graphic properties of the photograph. And then we get into the issue as to whether it's relevant to even conceptualize the process as a causal stimulus-response type of connection.

There were some unusual and statistically unlikely correspondences between DNB dreamers that had no apparent linkage to the photo or my dreams. Thus, the effect of having dreamers from widely disparate geographical locations join in a mutual project seemed to have created synchronistic overlays of specific dream content. The overall result was a blending or fusion of images without clear boundaries and which resist reduction to demarcated elements.

However, I'll make a crude effort to unravel the skein of tangled threads that emerged. Let me begin by providing the description and associations I wrote about the photo during my initial period of concentration:

"This is a Cuna woman from the San Blas Islands of Panama. She wears the traditional mola blouse, gold nose ring, large gold earrings, gold finger rings, and has elaborate bead work on her legs and arms. Her tribe believes in an Earth Mother and the large metal pot is used to brew an alcoholic beverage that is drunk at puberty ceremonies when a local girl reaches menarche. The young boy with the strained look, who is standing on the pot, wears a necklace of animal teeth. The other boy timidly looks out from the interior of the thatched palm leaf house. These palm leaves provide good protection from the rain. This is actually a council house where town meetings are held and where religious ceremonies take place. The slats in the wall are from black palm wood. I associate flute music and rattle sounds with the dancing that accompanies the ceremonies. My memories of there are very positive. I visited there with 3 of my sons."

A total of 27 letters from DNB readers was received (18 women, 9 men). If the photo is used as the reference point, the Cuna woman is the dominant figure. Mary Mihalyi (Wash. D.C.) described sewing a suit of clothes that had a short sleeved top and skirt. When she later put them on, she noticed that the top and skirt are of different materials and also different prints. The skirt wraps around the front and someone wonders whether the skirt will stay open in the front. The dreamer also realizes she forgot to bring her Chinese shoes to wear with some dress. These images and some other relevant ones appeared in the dreams she recorded on Nov. 16-17, the night she thought the contest was to take place. Mary's correspondences were precognitive because the project didn't get underway until the next night. Her dreams the next night involved children's clothes on a rack and her mother letting the hem down on the dreamer's dress.

Rita Dwyer (Vienna, VA) described a skirt that someone had shortened for her and mentioned her aunt taking off her blouse and wearing her slip and skirt. Carolyn Amundson (Wash. D.C.) referred to a bra and an unusual looking piece of jewelry. she wore on her ankle (Carolyn found out a day late .about the experiment and her dreams are from the night of Nov. 18-19). Unusual clothing was referenced in Nancy Miller's (Brandon, FL) dream of a short haired flapper. wearing a head band and a sleeveless, long-waisted dress. Among several other clothing references, a T shirt was mentioned (Carol Warner, Arlington, VA.), a shirt with rolled up sleeves (Charlotte Bell, Weare, N.H.), and someone wearing a neck scarf (Susan Chapman, Brooklyn, NY).

The large metal pot used for brewing alcoholic beverages seemed to be picked up by Nancy Roberts (Orange, CT) who described two elliptical circles with one being larger than the other and having darker and lighter portions. (In the original photo, there are several lighter colored elliptical ridges around the sides of the pot. The woman is also wearing two large earrings, one darker than the other). Beer was included in the dreams of Gary Rogers (Abilene, TX) and Dave Argobast (Leesburg, VA) and wine in Susan Meeder's dream (Framingham MA). Mary Mihalyi (Nov. 16) acquired a round tin containing cakes.

There were several references to walls such as thick mortared walls and brick walls by Rita Dwyer, and a movable wall with a boat attached to it (Marilyn Grossman, Vienna, VA). The slats in the wall may have been represented by some cylindrical sticks or poles and a place where you can put mail into slots (Mary Mihalyi, Nov. 16), wooden sliding doors (Claudia Bienenfeld, Brooklyn, NY), and a vinyl dividing curtain around a low ceiling room with a thick support pillar in the middle (Susan Chapman).

Several dreamers had references to children, but the most specific link to the position of the woman and the adjacent child was described by Fay Pallaria (Lancaster, NH). She reported sharing a seat with a young black child who had her knee on the seat and it was sticking into her back uncomfortably.

Various foreign locations were mentioned (India, Puerto Rico, Europe, and some foreign city). Being on an island (in the middle of a street) was reported by Mary Minalyi (Nov. 17).

I had associated ceremonial music and dancing with the photo. Singing also accompanies these ceremonies. Carolyn Amundson reported an impromptu music session started in her dream. Marilyn Grossman heard some singing with the word "poonim" used in it instead of the Yiddish word "punim" (for face). Thirteen year old Dulcie Dwyer dreamed about dancing around with a lot of other girls and her mother, Rita, had three dreams involving dancing, music, and singing. Rita also reported a dream in which a tiny dog got his sharp teeth caught in her clothing. This connection between animal teeth and clothing is fairly close to my comments about the boy wearing a necklace of animal teeth. Claudia Bienenfeld described a reception room with low benches along the walls where many young women are excitedly getting ready for the first meeting of a church choir for which everyone has to wear a green dress. The dreamer wants to join because she likes to sing. (A council house has low benches along the walls).

After long deliberation, I feel that Claudia Bienenfeld was the most successful percipient. This is because of the singing scene just described, her earlier reference to the sliding wooden doors, a mention about using her hands to climb down a structure of beams and poles (note the boy's hands on the pole across the beam) and a reference to awakening to find her left hand and her husband's hand clasped together. (Note the joining of the woman's two hands). Claudia also described some imagery which was strikingly close to some of my dream imagery. In order to illustrate these, I will report a summary of my dreams for the night of Nov. 17-18.

I awoke at 3 AM with a long dream involving a fishing scene. I sometimes was on a boat and sometimes on shore. The man I was with caught two large flounder and some woman insisted that I put them on the top of boat and gut them. I attempted to cut the fish open with a razor blade. Some blood came out and the fish's face turned into the man's face and he was bleeding. I told him to rinse his face with water and that I would need his advice as to how to cut around his ears and nose.

Around 4:30 I dreamed about

...providing drinks for a group of students working on a project. They were 41 cents each. There was also something about a cake or dessert and a mother dividing it into two portions. Also something about people being late and hurrying to work.

My last dreams occurred around 7 AM.

A pile of leaves was going to be used for compost and I was watering the top with a hose and someone was inserting a hose into the sides to get water to the interior. In another scene, there was a large number of people in a slanted auditorium. Some board members and I were sitting down to eat at a table on the main floor or lecturing area.

Here is a summary of Claudia's dreams, with verbatim remarks from her 11 :30 PM dream:

"I am outdoors, perhaps on the deck of a ship mounting the fresh, whole wet skin of a small whale or whale's head (fish-sized) on a board, for artistic and may be ritual purposes. After removing one eye (the only one, it's a side view) with the knife I'm using, I hear a conversation... [All of this could be influenced by a recent waking experience of washing flounder for cooking, but not removing their heads]. I feel a kinship, or sympathy, with the whale, which at some point transforms into a person. The wet, stretched mounted skin is now of a man's face, reddish-brown, Eskimo-like... I don't seem to notice the change from whale."

Claudia next describes being atop a snow covered building and wanting to dive into the sea below and becomes lucid. She describes climbing down the outside structure of beams and poles with her hands and has trouble using one of them.

In her 3 AM dream she had jointly ·participated in the theft of money with several other people. The money is sitting in stacks on the floor. The dreamer's 5 year old daughter is with her. The dreamer offers to count out one of the other's share of money and writes down figures which are an "odd amount of dollars and cents." The dreamer then asks the others to count out a share with "equal denominations." The dreamer plans to leave town and packs a few things. Then she hears rain beginning and realizes she hasn't packed an umbrella.

In her 6:30 dream, she had the dream about the women going to sing in the church choir, opening wooden sliding doors and clothes on a rack or closet rod. She also described a room with many people seated and watching a film or video depicting college students and an instructor working on an art project.

In a personal note, Claudia mentioned that she had drawn a small picture of the whale/man's face next to her dream account about 5 minutes before getting ready to mail it. When she couldn't find her regular stamps, she looked in another box and found a stamp labeled "Indian Art" that portrayed a mask from the Bella Bella area that duplicated almost exactly the drawing she had made. This Eskimo mask has several lines over the face and the ear, nose and mouth areas are colored red.

In terms of my description and associations to the target photo, Claudia reported her 5 year old daughter (young boy with necklace), snow-covered roof of a building (thatched palm leaf house?), rain falling and no umbrella (palm leaves provide good protection from rain), reception area with low benches (council house), upcoming meeting of a church choir (meetings take place and religious ceremonies are held in council house), poles and beams and sliding wooden doors (slats in walls of wood). She also reported some emphasis on her hands and a joining of two hands, hers and her husbands (gold finger rings).

Claudia achieved even more success when my dreams are considered the target material. She reported being on a ship, skinning with a knife a fish-sized whale or whale's head that transforms into a person and then a reddish-brown man's face. I reported being on a boat, gutting a fish with a razor blade and the fish's face turned into a man's face that was bleeding. My fish were. flounders and Claudia mentioned washing flounders recently.

Claudia dreamed about an odd amount of dollars and cents and having the money divided equally among the participants. I dreamed that the drinks cost 41 cents each for the students working on a project. I also dreamed about a dessert being divided. into two portions. She dreamed about stacks of money and I described a pile of leaves. She indicated a desire to dive from above into the sea and I was directing water from above onto the leaf pile with water also going into the interior. Claudia described seated college students watching a movie that involved an instructor and students working on an art project. I've already referred to my dream about students working on a project and I also had a scene involving a lecture area with many people in an auditorium.

Rita Dwyer had an image of an animal face and a wounded animal with an open wound like an incision or cut several inches long that she wants to sew up or heal before too much blood is lost. Her son Damian had a very brief dream In which he received a gift package containing an outdoor knife.

In my dreams, water was involved in the fishing scene and in watering the pile of leaves. Stan Krippner (San Francisco, CA) mentioned a pool of water and Carolyn Amundson and Dennis Schmidt (Boston, MA) both described swimming pools, Fay Pallaria reported a tank of water, an ocean was reported by Nancy Minturn (Oak Ridge, TN), an ocean trip by Carolyn Amundson, a sea by Claudia Bienenfeld and a river by Drew Calhoun (Arlington, VA). Carolyn Amundson referred to a yacht, Marilyn Grossman to a boat and Susan Moeder to oars for a rowboat. Fishhooks appeared in Don Middendorf's (Seattle, WA) dream and just after referring to a cutting board, Mary Mihalyi mentioned a hook and made a drawing of it.

Several people perceived motion in connection with the water'. Carolyn Amundson's pool had a wave machine, Dennis Schmidt was trying to create movement in his pool with his foot so he could bring his glasses to the surface and Fay Pallaria was splashing water in her tank to bring her turtle to the surface.

The compost pile of leaves getting wet may have been represented in Arzelie Stewart's (Minneapolis, MN) image of a thick magazine with rippled pages that suddenly appeared underwater, then became dry and something was being "poured, splashed, and dripped" on it like coffee or tea. Don Middendorf described a scene where it starts to snow, he stops to pee and then it's hailing. Gerald O'Connell (Willmantic, CT) goes to a lavatory where he had earlier encountered a toilet full of feces, but now finds it empty and "urinates with great relief." This dream was a very important one for Gerald as he later became fully lucid in the dream and his subsequent experiences "represented a breakthrough in my life style."

In my last dream of the night I described a meeting in an auditorium with some board members and myself sitting down to eat at a table. Four dreamers had tables in their dreams and 10 dreamers had food references. Susan Chapman described a meeting in civic auditorium with a senator, mayor, and other politicians present. She also mentioned tables and a tray of tea rolls. A politician was present in Nancy Miller's dream, a manager in Judy Fogarty's (Wheeling, IL) dream, President Eisenhower in Carolyn Amundson's dream, and Ed Dwyer (Vienna, VA) was a chairman of a group trying to decide on a time for a meeting. I had implied that there were different elevations in the slanted auditorium when I referred to activities taking place on the main floor. There were 11 dreamers who made references to their activities taking place upstairs or downstairs, or to their being up in a grandstand, sitting high in a theater, being on stage, in a balcony, etc.

So far, all the linkages I have mentioned were in regard to the photo, my associations to the photo, or to my dreams. There were many other examples of overlapping dream content between two or more dreamers that would be statistically quite rare -apples, potatoes, poetry, smoke, etc. that were probably not part of the stimulus context I provided. An interesting metaphor for this project was provided by four dreamers. In Don Middendorf's dream "we're working on a joint project and two different things were coming from two different directions and they were meeting (and I drew 2 arrows that came together at about a 45 degree angle and a third arrow originating there off to the right)." In Gerald O'Connell's dream "a guy asked us directions." Fay Pallaria indicated that at one point during the night she wrote down the only thing she could remember "The four points of the compass." As she later played with some hypnagogic imagery she began to write the phrase "good tower meat" next to the other earlier phrase and "was struck by the meaning of the two together good tower, meet the four points of the compass. So, Good Tower, I hope you do!" When Rita Dwyer awakened her husband Jim at 4:25 AM and asked him what he was dreaming he replied, "Some men were talking about plotting stars or meteors or man-made objects, such as spacecraft, and they had at their disposal charts of the heavens obtained by various technical means over the last twenty years, so that such a search could be done. However, it would be incredibly painstakingly slow because of the vast data base."

After going through the limited data base of these 27 dreamers, I feel sure that dreamers from the four points of the compass were giving each other directions and journeying together in meaningful ways. I also feel that if we were to ever collect and thoroughly study a vast data base of shared dreams, we would truly have at our disposal, a "chart of the heavens."

An example of how ESP dreams are not tied in with clock time was provided by Mary Mihalyi and Carolyn Amundson. One dreamed the night before and one the night after the Nov. 17-18 dates, yet both had impressive correspondences to the overall stimulus complex. Another example was provided by Esperanza Rogers (Abilene, TX) who promptly sent in her dream from Nov. 18. Here's her verbatim report: "It had to do with a magician doing flying card tricks. He could send cards flying through the air. Anyway, a scene that stands out in my memory is the man lying on the floor, arms outstretched..." Sound familiar? Read the dream again that was selected and presented for readers to "interpret" two months later. The magician doing flying card tricks sounds like the Board officer playing with playing cards on a grate suspended in air. And the man lying on the floor sounds like the dreamer lying on his back.

That's over and out from the Good Tower.